Today, Spain and Cuba have signed collaboration agreements in Havana regarding commercial relations and investment in R + D + I in order to take advantage of the new opportunities that are opening up for Spanish companies on the island. The Ministers of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain, Luis de Guindos, and the Minister of Foreign Trade of Cuba, Rodrigo Malmierca, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Economic Cooperation with measures such as providing an efficient institutional framework and identifying priority sectors for mutual collaboration. In R + D + i, the Minister De Guindos and the Minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya, have signed a collaboration agreement with the Spanish CDTI with the commitment to facilitate financing for projects of common interest in sectors already identified, among other measures. The validity period in both cases is five years.
The commitment on economic cooperation establishes the creation of a Working Group on Trade and Investment (GTCI) whose objective is to provide an institutional framework that allows deepening economic relations between Spain and Cuba. In addition to improving trade, it seeks to identify new areas of cooperation and make recommendations to avoid any obstacle that may arise in its development.
Among the objectives is also to promote the transfer of knowledge and exchange of experiences, facilitate business missions and the exchange of experts, including the organization of study visits between the two countries and support the establishment and development of contacts between Spanish companies and Cuban. Bilateral investments and economic flows will also be promoted in accordance with their respective national laws and regulations.
The Working Group will be chaired by the Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment of Cuba and by the Secretary of State for Trade of the Kingdom of Spain. Among its functions will be to monitor the provisions of this Memorandum, evaluate bilateral economic relations and present recommendations to the competent authorities of both countries with the aim of promoting and facilitating trade and investment. Among its objectives will be to identify the problems that hinder trade and investment and bilateral economic cooperation and recommend measures to the designated authorities of both countries for their solution.
Regarding the Collaboration Agreement with CDTI on R & D & I, both countries undertake to promote the development of projects by financing those that are declared of common interest. These will be developed within the framework of a Bilateral Technological Cooperation Program, which will pay special attention to the criteria of degree of innovation in each of the countries, financial capacity of the partners to develop the project, degree of commitment of the parties and impact on the economies of each of the two countries.
Projects must be innovative, from a technological point of view, and be carried out between companies and institutions in both countries in one of the following priority areas: Information and Communication Technologies, Agri-food, Biotechnology, Electronics, Logistics and Transport , Chemistry, Climate Change and Renewable Energies.